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Want to bring more hygge (“hoo-gah”) to your life?
If you want to have your happiest, coziest fall and winter ever (pandemic or not), hygge – the Danish and Norwegian lifestyle practice of coziness, contentment, and simplicity – is just what you need.
It’s all about experiencing an atmosphere of soothing comfort and wellness (think cozy blankets, knit socks, warm drinks, glowing candles, comfort foods, and books by the fire).
And it’s perfect for making the best of our extra time at home while social distancing to keep our loved ones and communities safe.
Want to know how? We’ve put together a list of 12 hygge essentials to bring more comfort and coziness to your life this season.
Put the coffee on and bundle up!
GET THE BOOKS
First, start in the right place. Read these bestselling definitive guides.
The Little Book Of Hygge: Danish Secrets Of Happy Living (2017)
Wiking (CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen) explains the magic of hygge and how it makes Danes the happiest nation in the world. All aspects are explained in detail, and you’ll finish the book more inspired than ever to bring more hygge into your life.
Get It! The Little Book Of Hygge: Danish Secrets Of Happy Living (2017), $12.99; www.amazon.com.
Hygge: The Danish Art Of Happiness (2017)
MARIE TOURELL SODERBERG
Soderberg explains the history of hygge, how to bring it to your table and into your home (all year long), the important of togetherness, and more.
Get It! Hygge: The Danish Art of Happiness (2017), $17.50; www.amazon.com.
CANDLES & FIRELIGHT
Ambience. If you want hygge but can only do one thing, do this. A glowing candle (or more) or flickering fireplace is the first (arguably most important step) to hygge warmth and coziness. Seasonal scented candles are a lovely choice (be candle safe).
Next up? Wrap your hands around a warm mug. Hot chocolate, coffee, tea or warm, spiced wine (check your hygge book) are essentials. Perfect to cozy up, rest and relax, while you FaceTime loved ones by the fire or read a great book.
Is there anything more comforting on a brisk evening than a rich pot of comfort food gently simmering on the stove? Chicken noodle soup, spaghetti sauce, chilli, or a roast in the oven that you prepared yourself. Make your house smell like a home.
And you can’t forget dessert. If you want hygge happiness, you can get it with candy, cake, cookies and pastries. Treats make people happy, and pair perfectly with hot coffee (another essential). Bake your own for a sweet-smelling home.
You’ve set the atmosphere with candles, prepared a warm drink, meal and dessert, what’s next? Pull on the biggest pair of slipper socks you can find. Bundle up in cozy PJs, flannel or a sweater, and curl up in a knit blanket. Even better? Knit one yourself.
(Extra points if there is a purring cat on your lap and a snowstorm outside).
Being with friends and loved ones, sharing good times, is a big part of hygge. During the pandemic, this might look a little different as we spend more time with our immediate households (social distancing at home) and less time in large gatherings with others.
For now, social distancing is how we must keep our families and communities safe. And so while we might not have togetherness in the same way right now, we definitely can have connectedness (and it’s more important than ever). So cozy up your home, and FaceTime, text, call, and email those you love.
Hygge is not complicated (it’s the furthest thing). It is ease. It’s peace, comfort, and enjoying the simple, little things in life to their fullest. It’s not electronic video games but card and board games. An acoustic guitar instead of a blaring stereo. Simplify.
Simplify, and also, slow down. There is no rush or anxiousness in hygge, no to-do lists. Hygge is comfort, safety, and nostalgia. A slow simmering pot on the stove. Happiness at home, where you find yourself, right here and now (but with cake).
The ultimate hygge experience, Christmas. Twinkling lights, a roaring fireplace, evergreen trees, Christmas is hygge to the max, Christmas is the season of hygge. Get out your decorations, warm scarves, and baking ingredients (you’re going to need them).
If winter is the ultimate hygge season, can you have it all year round? Even in summer? Yes! Any time of year, anything with traditions of comfort can be hygge. Just like the chilly months, the sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and feel of summer (don’t forget thunderstorms) can all bring cozy happiness too.
Need more ideas to take advantage of everything this chilly month of November has to offer (i.e., all things cozy)? Check out our post on this month’s not-to-miss essentials, to help make this your best (and most hygge) November ever (pandemic or not).
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